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  • Story Owner: Mike  Ketchmark
  • Story Title: North Pole
  • Story Created: Monday, March 24, 2014, 11:02:00 PM
  • Chapter Author: Mike Ketchmark
  • Chapter Created: Sunday, April 13, 2014, 7:59:00 AM
  • updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 9:46:00 PM

Last night after we made the blog post we had CP and Maher to our tent for some freeze dried dinner. It is quiet here at night when the dogs are sleeping. Suddenly we hear a massive noise. It sounded to me like a building being demolished. Mark says with an alarmed voice that he thinks he hears water rushing. We agree.

The guides move fast and head outside the tent. Mark and I sit awaiting news. We suspect at the time that a massive lead opened up. The guides returned to report that they could not see anything but it was definitely the ice moving.

We finish dinner and go to bed. We woke to the sound of the wind. Maher said it was going to be rough today so we should put on extra layers. I took his advice. I usually wear three sets of heavy long underwear and two outer layers. Today I added a fourth. I grabbed the toliet paper to head outside for my morning routine. I looked like Ralph from A Christmas Story all bundled up in a massive jacket and unable to move.

Maher was right, it was colder than the day before and the wind was howling. We broke camp and headed out. We quickly found the source of the commotion the night before. The ice was littered with new pressure ridges, some as high as 15 feet. The wind was relentless and only got worse. A sustained 15 to 20 something mph wind pushing the negative 25 to 30 degree air.

It is kinda like taking the coldest day you have ever felt and sticking your head out the window of a car going 20 mph. We had to earn every mile. We busted our way through pressure ridges and fought for ground at a snails pace. After seven hours and only 4 miles of progress we stopped to set up camp. We had to set up the tents in the massive wind. It's quite an ordeal. The wind is from the North likely pushing us on the ice farther from our goal.

I laugh when I think how bad I thought yesterday was...I guess it just prepared us for today. We are in our tent now and it is flapping around by the ever increasing wind. I hope to wake up to a calm day. If not, we are literally in for some more rough sledding.